Saturday, November 30, 2013

Colonial Lake

This morning, I got up before sunrise to make a trip down to Colonial Lake in Lawrenceville. While the lake itself did not provide much in the way of good imagery, the denuded maple trees and crescent moon more than made up for it. 

John Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Last Sunday was bitterly cold, but I braved the elements and trucked down to the Heinz Wildlife Refuge [1] just south of Philadelphia. I was hoping to see some wildlife, but I think it was too cold, even for them. I will definitely be making a return visit when the weather warms up. Anyway, the marsh and creek along the trail I walked provided much of the scenery. Here's what I saw:


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Harry Reid Goes Nuclear

Today, Senate Democrats passed a rule in the Senate curtailing the use of the filibuster for cabinet nominees and non-Supreme Court judicial appointees. While long overdue and aside from whatever credence one wants to give to changing the “norms” of an institution like the U.S. Senate, the one argument that kept (and keeps) some from supporting this long overdue action is the idea that Republicans will one day again control both the White House and the Senate and Democrats will rue the day they removed a tool they might want to stop a radical appointee to head, say the Environmental Protection Agency or be appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

To them I say, the existence of the filibuster did little to stop such appointments in the past. John Ashcroft, who famously draped “Lady Liberty” to cover an exposed breast was confirmed and served as U.S. Attorney General for four years. Other ignoble names from the past, from James Watt to Janice Rogers Brown, made it through the confirmation process even though their politics were well to the right of mainstream thought. Moreover, the idea that Republicans would not change the filibuster rules in the future, regardless, always struck me as specious. After all, they used reconciliation to get massive tax cuts through and threatened to do what Reid did today just eight years ago.

The judiciary, in particular, tends to find its balance because the number of appointees by Presidents of each party hovers close to par over time. That the Democrats have held the White House for more time than Republicans over the last 20 years should result in a judiciary that tilts more to the left and when vacancies arise, regardless of the court, nominees, barring some disqualifying justification, should be given an up or down vote. Over the long run, a Patricia Owen will be balanced out by a Patricia Millett. It is part of the genius of the Constitution Republicans claim to so revere that this occurs.

Of course, none of this took place in a vacuum. As others have noted, the level of GOP obstruction under Obama has been unprecedented. Nearly half (46%) of all judicial appointment filibusters since 1968 have occurred during his presidency[1] and never-before actions, such as the filibustering of multiple cabinet appointees (Defense, Labor, EPA, and CIA) occurred this year alone. That it took Senator Reid this long to finally “push the button” speaks for more loudly about his respect for the Senate as an institution than his eagerness to c


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Calm After The Storm

A big storm blew through New Jersey Sunday night. When day broke, the sky was particularly blue and the clouds were moving swiftly across the horizon. I didn't have to venture any further than my backyard to capture these beautiful images. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The College of New Jersey

Taking advantage of another unseasonably warm day, I went to The College of New Jersey. While walking around, I realized I was probably about 2 weeks too late to capture this lovely campus in all its autumnal glory, so I focused instead on the architecture of one particular building - Green Hall (which resembles Independence Hall in Philadelphia) and the natural beauty of the impressive trees and wildlife along Lake Ceva. 

Let's start at Lake Ceva. We had some ducks swimming, a tufted titmouse (not making that up) and the narrowing of the channel rippling majestically. 

As I mentioned, Green Hall caught my eye, so I'm clustering the photos I took of that building together, even though they were not shot consecutively. You will see a nice frontal shot, a close-up of the weather vane, and two photos (one black and white, one color) of an arresting skyline behind it. 

The campus itself is really nice. Here are a few random photos, including a metal sculpture, the side entrance to one of the older buildings on campus, a panorama of one of the "quads," and the modern Art & Innovative Multimedia Building. 

On my way out, I took these last two images. I'm posting both the color and black and white versions. I think they both came out nicely. 

I had a great time at TCNJ today; however, I'm already realizing I need to work new "muscles" as the color palate changes toward winter. I was very happy with the way the black and white photos posted here came out and look forward to shifting more of my attention toward that medium as we get deeper into the winter months. I hope you enjoyed this little "tour" of one of New Jersey's many outstanding universities. If you would like a high resolution, full-size copy of any of these photos, please email me at -

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cadwalader Park

It was unseasonably warm in New Jersey today, so I took my camera to Cadwalader Park [1] in Trenton to see what I would see.

I started off with a nice black and white photo of a stand of trees, some with leaves still on their branches, others without, and the sun peeking through:

Nearby is the Ellarslie Mansion [2] and I got one nice photo from ground level. Check out the tree's reflection in the upper right hand window: 

Next, I headed over to the Civil War monument. The base lists a number of battles that men from New Jersey fought in while the statue atop the monument has a soldier in Union garb.

Then, I walked over to a statue of John Roebling [3], who is probably best known as the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, but also lived in Trenton during his life and is credited with coining the motto "Trenton Makes, The World Takes." The first photo is framed beautifully by leaves behind the statue, while the second was taken with the "fish eye" effect I am so fond of.

After that, I headed down to a stream that runs through the park (I'm not sure if it is named or not) and got two nice photos of trees reflected in the water and one of a Belted Kingfisher (thank you, Twitter!) who was making a lot of noise for such a tiny bird.

On my way back to the car, I took one last photo of the Roebling statue, but this time, from behind. I think it gives the monument a much different feel.

Overall, I was very pleased with the effort. As always, if you want high resolution scans of any of the photos you see, email me at -



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunrise In Princeton

This morning, I drove to Princeton and took some great pictures:

I started at the Princeton Battlefield where it was just me and this four-legged fella taking in a brisk, but beautiful sunrise:

Then, I headed to Nassau Street in downtown Princeton. The university has many nice buildings, the four below are (in order): Nassau Hall, the Chancellor Green Library, Henry House, and the Schiede Caldwell House.

Then, I headed out of town on Harrison Street. Stopping first along the side of the road to capture these images, one of the sun rising over Carnegie Lake and the other of a light fog along the opposite bank:

Finally, I parked the car near the intersection of Harrison Street and Route 1 and took a series of photos of the lake, trees and ducks and geese. If you're wondering why the colors are so striking, it is because the sun was shining from directly across the way, illuminating this part of the lake beautifully:

I hope you enjoyed my "tour." If you are interested in a high resolution version of any of these, or other photos on my blog, email me at -